Antioxidants are compounds which are generally found in our body and functions by preventing cell damage in the body. They prevent the damage caused to the body cells by potentially harmful substances known as free radicals.
These free radicals build up or accumulate and eventually cause a state known as oxidative stress. Occurrence of this state can increase the risk of development of heart diseases and cancer. Consumption of antioxidants may help the body to defend against these harmful chemicals, thereby preventing oxidative stress.
Fortunately, eating an antioxidants rich diet can help increase antioxidant levels to fight against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of these diseases. There are ample healthy foods that contain antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables are one of the rich sources of antioxidants.
Some antioxidant rich foods are Blueberries, Dark chocolate, Pecans, Goji berries, Strawberries, Beans, Red cabbage, and more.
So lets discuss antioxidant rich foods to boost its content in diet:
It is evident that blueberries amongst all common fruits contain high amounts of antioxidants. They have up to 9.2 mmol(millimoles) per 100 grams of the product. Blueberries contain a constituent called anthocyanin, which is primarily responsible for reducing health-related risk factors.
There are several benefits of consuming blueberries. Some of them include lowering levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, decreasing the risk of certain heart diseases, prevention of brain damage and increasing insulin sensitivity.
Undoubtedly, dark chocolate is delicious and nutritious. It contains more cocoa, minerals and antioxidants than a bar of regular chocolate. It has 15 mmol of antioxidants in every 100 g or 3.5 ounces.
Presence of cocoa in dark chocolates regulates blood pressure, reduces inflammation and lowers the risk of various heart diseases. Moreover, consumption of dark chocolates also raises High-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
Apart from this, it also prevents the oxidation of Low-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol. So, eat some dark chocolate every day. It will satisfy your taste buds and curb health related problems.
Goji berries are marketed as a superfood as it contains essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It has about 4.3 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams or 3.5 ounces.
Moreover, goji berries contain unique antioxidants known as Lycium barbarum polysaccharides, which are effective in raising blood antioxidants levels. Presence of these antioxidants reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. Apart from this, it may help combat skin ageing.
Strawberries are a sweet and versatile fruit, containing antioxidants and vitamin C in higher amounts. They contain an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which is also present in blueberries.
One can know the amount of anthocyanin present in berries by looking at the color of berries. For instance, in the case of strawberries, bright red color denotes the presence of high amounts of anthocyanin.
They have 5.4 mmol per 100 grams of it. It is highly recommended to include this fruit in your diet as it reduces LDL cholesterol levels as well as the risk of chronic heart diseases.
Red cabbage is also referred as purple cabbage. It contains Vitamin A, C, K and considerable amounts of antioxidants. Reduction in inflammation occurs due to the presence of the constituent, anthocyanin.
Also, the risk to other health related diseases like cancer and chronic heart problems is attenuated. Besides, vitamin C acts as a major source of antioxidants and provides immunity to our body.
Furthermore, steaming red cabbage can decrease its antioxidant content by 35%.
Spinach is low in calories and contains vital nutrients like antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. It is generally recommended for those individuals who have poor eyesight. Daily consumption can help ease eyesight problems because the presence of antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin protect one’s eyes from UV light and other damaging light wavelengths.
Green tea is a popular superfood in this contemporary world due to its touted health benefits. It contains 30 percent polyphenols, by weight. It is evident that it shows anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Unlike other teas, green tea is less processed as it is made using dry steam methods. The processing technique is responsible for the presence of plenty of nutrients and antioxidants.
It contains large amounts of a catechin called EGCG, which prevents cell damage. Moreover, they have a protective effect against oxidative damage that contributes to the development of cancer. Green tea, being an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, can help reduce the risk of cancer.
Raspberries are tart berries that are generally used as desserts. It contains vitamin C, manganese, dietary fibres, and is rich in antioxidants. It has 4 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams or 3.5 ounces.
According to studies, components like antioxidants in raspberries have shown to lower the risk of heart diseases and cancer. Also,antioxidants like anthocyanins in raspberries may reduce inflammation as well as oxidative stress.
Artichokes are an excellent source of nutrients, dietary fibres and antioxidants. According to research reports, it is suggested that artichokes help in lowering cholesterol levels and improve gut health.
In artichokes, chlorogenic acid is present as an antioxidant which hampers the growth of cancer and other chronic diseases. It is recommended to pay attention to the procedure of cooking artichokes. Ideally, they are steamed or boiled, which contributes to an increase in antioxidant levels by 8 and 15 times, respectively.
Kale is rich in Vitamins A, C, and K, and renders antioxidant content up to 2.7 mmol per 100 grams. It is a popular healthy food, generally found in northern regions. It is recommended to include red kale in your diet as it contains more anthocyanins than green kale.
Apart from maintaining sound cellular functions, kale is a good plant-based source of calcium as well. Thus, consuming kale fosters good bone health.
Brussels sprouts belong to the family of broccoli. They contain plenty of bitter sulforaphane and isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates are responsible for detoxification of cancer causing substances in the body. Thus, consuming brussels sprouts can be beneficial in preventing cancer.
Tomatoes contain three types of antioxidants namely, lycopene, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Lycopene is responsible for giving bright red color to tomatoes. Vitamin C is the most common type of antioxidants which is obtained from fruits and vegetables. Learn more the benefits of Vitamin C here!
Pecans are a good source of minerals, healthy fats and antioxidants. They contain up to 10.6 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams or 3.5 ounces. Intake of pecans can raise the levels of antioxidants in the blood.
High levels of oxidised LDL cholesterol in the blood is a risk factor leading to heart related problems. Hence, the intake of pecans help to reduce the blood LDL levels. Also, pecans are high in calories. So, it is recommended to eat it in moderation, keeping the count of calories.
Nutritionists recommend beans to patients who have low levels of essential nutrients. Amongst all vegetables, they are high in fibre and an excellent source of antioxidants.
Kaempferol is found in considerable amounts in the beans. It helps in the prevention of chronic inflammation and cancer. It is seen in several animal studies that consuming this constituent results in suppression of bladder, kidneys and lung cancer. Interestingly, eating beans regulates bowel movement.
There are various varieties of eggplants, which are rich in a bitter antioxidant, chlorogenic acid. The presence of this antioxidant prevents the buildup of plaque in artery walls and hence fight the heart problems. It is reported that the intake of eggplant helps to fight cancer and lower cholesterol levels.
In a nutshell, there are many common healthy foods which one can include in daily life to ramp up the antioxidant content in the body.
Antioxidants in these foods can render health benefits or you can say antioxidants benefits like prevention of heart and liver disorders, protection against diseases related to oxidative stress, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Therefore, it is recommended to eat an antioxidant rich diet so as to combat free radicals and diseases.
1. What are antioxidants fruits?
There are many fruits which are beneficial in myriad ways. Berries are considered as the fruit rich in antioxidants and other vitamins. Apart from that red grapes, oranges, peaches, cherries, apricot, mangoes, watermelon, papaya, and tomatoes are full of antioxidants.
2. Which vegetables have high antioxidants content?
Beet, spinach, red cabbage, kale, broccoli, brouste sprouts and artichokes are some of the vegetables which are rich in antioxidants. Daily consumption of these vegetables will ramp up the levels of antioxidants in the body and combat various diseases.